Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sewing Again

I sewed for pleasure for the first time in about a year. This is a huge accomplishment for me.

After I got pregnant with Emily I was just too tired to sew much, other than for work. Then we moved and I spent a lot of time unpacking and taking it easy because I got tired easily with the pregnancy. Then the holidays came and that took all my energy. Then I was in the hospital having Emily. Once we got home I just did not have the desire to sew. But thankfully that desire has returned.

I began sewing when I was about 12 years old. I taught myself the basics. My mom was never very much into sewing. When I was about 14 or 15 I join a Girl Scout troop that did historical reenactments, and all the girls made their own costumes. Our troop leader was an amazing seamstress and taught us all so much. I think this is where I learned most of my sewing skills.

Over the years I have made some many different things. I remember making doll clothes for my American Girl dolls and thinking about the day that I would be able to make doll clothes for my future children. Maddie is still a bit young for doll clothes, but I am excited for the day that she appreciate what I can make for her.
Since Maddie was born I have only made her one outfit. I am not really sure why I have not made her more clothes, but I just have not.

But I am ready to start sewing for her. I was inspired by a blog I found yesterday. This woman makes some beautiful clothes for little girls (she has three daughters). The blog is Craftiness is not Optional. I found several patterns on her site that I wanted to try and this morning I started sewing one of them. As I write this it is almost done. All I need to do is try it on Maddie and sew on the straps. I will post a picture later.


After I wrote the above the decided to wait and publish this post after I got the dress complete, that way I could post a picture. Well the dress is done. It only took me about two hours to complete the whole dress, plus the time it took me to cut out the pattern yesterday.

It looks so cute on Maddie. The only thing it is missing is some lace around the bottom of the dress, but I have to go buy some first, and I wanted to post this now. So here is the finished project

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Peaceful Sleep

Asleep in mommy's arms after having been seperated for almost a week. This was our first night home from after we lost Emily.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Something...and Burnt Chicken

I have this strange unsettled feeling today. I have been trying to pinpoint it all day and I just can’t seem to place how I am feeling. I feel moody and just on the edge of keeping my head. Like almost at any minute I might lose it or something. That is the word, SOMETHING. How vague is that. I have no idea what it is.
Nothing has happened today, in fact this morning started out really well. My mom took our two year old for a few hours like she does every Tuesday, to just give me a break. It is nice to have a few hours to myself where I can do whatever I want. I usually don’t do much, but that is okay in my opinion.
Then tonight as we were getting dinner ready I looked out the kitchen window and noticed flames coming out of the back of the BBQ. The chicken was burning. No it was ON FIRE! So there went dinner. In the moment I was calm, but I wanted to scream and cry. “How could that happen?” We have cooked chicken on the BBQ some many times; and this has never happened. I am just done with this day, and I have no idea what happened to make me feel that way.
Now as I write this I feel like crying. Why? No idea. I hate feeling this way. I know the logical answer is that our daughter died 9 weeks ago and this is just a stage of grief, but is that all it is?
Sorry there is no deep meaningful insight or even something to show you that I am doing okay tonight. I am not doing okay to night. I think a glass of wine would be wonderful right now. Oh wait; I don’t have any in the house. Guess a Diet Coke will have to do. Then I will cuddle up with my husband and daughter and be glad that tomorrow is a new day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Lasting Memory of Emily

Going through a stack of papers recently I discovered a bunch of baby freebies that companies send out: coupons and literature. As I was sorting through it and throwing most of it away I found a $20 gift card from Shutterfly, that had not expired yet. I did think about just tossing it, then I had an idea, why not use it to print out some pictures of Emily and even some recent pictures of Maddie too.

I logged on to Shutterfly and then had another idea; I could make a photo book of all the pictures that we have of Emily. I ordered it last week and it should be here today. It turned out so beautiful, now I will always have all of Emily's pictures in one place. I am so excited to get the book.

I also ordered some 4x6 pictures of Emily and Maddie. Several weeks ago I found a great deal on frames (see my happy list from two weeks ago) and had some great plans to use those frames to put up some pictures. The pictures arrived in the mail on Saturday and yesterday I decided to get the pictures in the frames and hung on the wall.

With the help of my husband we got three frames, with nine pictures total hung yesterday. One frame has pictures of Emily, one the other two have pictures of Maddie, both past and present. Looking at the wall with all the pictures on it makes me so happy. I just smile every time I look at the pictures of our two girls.

These were the first pictures we have framed of Emily and I can't wait to get a few more frames and hang more pictures of her up.
I always thought that looking back at pictures of a dead child would be difficult and would make things worse. I even avoided looking at the pictures I have of Emily in the first week because I thought it would be too hard. However, I have discovered that I feel the complete opposite. Since Emily's death I have actually found healing through looking at the few pictures we have of her and remembering her short life.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy List Saturday

Today is March 26th, it is so hard to believe that it has already been two months. Where has the time gone? The day we left the hospital I posted on my Facebook page, "Seems kind of strange to me right now how life keeps moving on when mine seems to have stopped." Well it is so true life just keeps going on, no matter what we go through. While in those first few days I wondered how I was going to keep going with life. But I have found a way and I am so glad for the support and love of family and friends.

It is Saturday and time for my happy list. Last night I actually thought about not doing a happy list this week, not because I don't have things to be happy about, but because I did not really want to. No other reason than that. But this morning, when I realized it had been two months, I thought what a better way to remember Emily than with my happy thoughts for the week.

Things that made me happy this week:

* Crock pot meals.
I love to get up in the morning and get dinner started and then not have to think about it for the next 5 to 10 hours (depending on what I am making). This week I made three meals in the crock pot.
My inspiration was A Year of Slow Cooking, Stephanie spent one year using her crock pot each day. She still uses her crock pot on a regular basis, though not every day.

* A clean kitchen.
There is nothing better than standing back and admiring clean, clutter free counter tops and shinny appliances.

* Warmer days.
We have not seen snow in about two weeks now and it has been at least 50 degrees everyday this week. Once upon a time, when I lived in CA, 50 was a cold day. Here in WA 50 is a very nice day. Funny how ones perspective changes with where you live. Maddie and I have spent several hours outside each day, it has been wonderful.

* Love & Logic.
I have been reading the book Love & Logic Magic for Early Childhood. We have only started to implement some of the concepts and ideas from the book, but already I have noticed a difference in our two year old. I can't wait to finish the book and then share it with my husband.

* All-Star Chopped (Food Network) 
I know I already used reality television once, but now I am more specific. Chopped is on the Food Network, it is a cooking competition, that only gives contestants a specific time to cook something with some required ingredients. If you have the Food Network and have never check out this show you really should, it airs on Sunday evenings.

What has made you happy this week? If you would like to share your happy list too, hop on over to My Angel Baby ...Aiden and link up.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Waking Up

There are two types of people, I believe. Those that are early risers and those that like to get up once the sun is high in the sky. I am the first, I love the early morning. But because I love the morning, I am not such a big fan of the evening. I am usually ready for bed by 9pm, if not earlier. There are so many nights I fall asleep on the couch, but I digress.
I generally wake up at the same time each morning, regardless of what time I went to bed. I love rolling over and listening to how quiet the house is still. No activities yet, just the stillness. It is these moments that I just enjoy being. I love to get up before the rest of my family and spend time reading or getting caught up on things that were left from the night before.

Then the rest of the house begins to stir. And our day begins. The same everyday. Maddie gets up and spends a few minutes waking her daddy up and then we all cuddle for a little while before it is time to get dressed and have breakfast.

Won't you join me over at The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday?

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Laughter is such an important part of the healing process. I remember the first time I laughed after Emily died. It seemed so strange and almost wrong to be laughing at something when I was in so much pain. But then I realized life does go on, and Emily is in a much better place. I also believe that the Lord meant for us to enjoy life and find the joy in life everyday.

Mattie over at Beauty will Rise has a post today about laughter. Her post made me laugh so much and I wanted to share part of the post with you. Below are announcements that were actually printed in church bulletins. All of these really prove the point that a good proof reader is imperative for a Church, or a lot of misunderstands could happen. Enjoy laughing at these church announcements.

And remember laugh often! 


*Don't let worry kill you - let the church help.

*Thursday night - Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.

*Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

*For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

*The rosebud on the alter this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Belzer.

*This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.

*Tuesday at 4:00 PM there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.

*Wednesday the ladies liturgy will meet. Mrs. Johnson will sing "Put me in my little bed" accompanied by the pastor.

*Thursday at 5:00 PM there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All ladies wishing to be "Little Mothers" will meet with the Pastor in his study.

*This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.

*The service will close with "Little Drops of Water." One of the ladies will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.

*Next Sunday a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet will come forward and do so.

*The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement Saturday.

*A bean supper well be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

*At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.

*The Reverend Merriweather spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.

*The eighth graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the church basement on Friday at 7:00 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

*During the absence of our pastor we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J.F. Scubbs supplied our pulpit.

*The Senior Choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.

*Weight Watchers will meet at 7:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use the large double door at the side entrance.

*The Associate minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday - "I upped my pledge - up yours!"

*Next Sunday, Mrs. Vinson will be the soloist for the morning service. The pastor will then speak on "It's a Terrible Experience."

*The choir will meet at the Larsen home for fun and sinning.

*A song fest was hell at the Methodist Church Wednesday.

*The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth Into Joy."

*Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on Oct. 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in school days.

*Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say, "hell" to someone who doesn't care much about you.

*Due to the Rector's illness, Wednesday's healing services will be discontinued until further notice.

*The concert held in the Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister's daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell on her.

*Today, Christian Youth Fellowship House Sexuality Course, 1pm-8pm. Please park in the rear parking lot for this activity.

*Offertory: "Jesus Paid It All"

*The church is glad to have with us today as our guest minister the Rev. Green who has Mrs. Green with him. After the service we request that all remain in the sanctuary for the Hanging of the Greens.

*Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

*The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.

*Evening massage -- 6 p.m.

*The Pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.

*The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.

*Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 p.m. Please use the back door.

*Ushers will eat latecomers.

*The third verse of Blessed Assurance will be sung without musical accomplishment.

*Today's Sermon: HOW MUCH CAN A MAN DRINK? with hymns from a full choir.

*22 members were present at the church meeting held at the home of Mrs. Marsha Crutchfield last evening. Mrs. Crutchfield and Mrs. Rankin sang a duet, 'The Lord Knows Why.'

*The 1997 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11.

*Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to Church secretary.

*8 new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some of the older ones.

*Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Alan in preparing for the girth of their first child.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ A New Pet

We have a new pet at our house. It only needs to be fed twice a day and other than that requires very little attention.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Compassionate Friends

Tonight I attended a support group called Compassionate Friends. It is a national organization that just happens to have a charter here in our town. Compassionate Friends supports families through the loss of a child. Any family member, parents, grandparents, and siblings are welcome to attend these once a month meetings. It is a special time of sharing about the dead child and a safe place to share your feelings.

I was so touch tonight by what was shared. It helped me to realize that first I am not alone in my grief and that the feelings that I have are completely normal, but also that even years from now I am still going to miss Emily. That will never go away and it is okay to continue to miss her.

I was just in awe of these women, the pain some of  them have been through, and they have survived. If they can survive the kind of pain they have endured. I am sure that I can survive my pain. I am not down playing my grief or my pain, but some of these women have endured so much, it was a blessing to me tonight to see them still making it through each day.

On a completely different topic, today I read about a family that is going through a very difficult time. Their 5 year old daughter Lucy has a brain tumor. She was diagnosed less than a month ago. Her mom Kate has a blog that she is now using to keep everyone updated on the progress and treatment of Lucy. This family has an incredible faith that is sustaining them, but they also need a lot of prayer. I feel so burdened to pray for them. Will you please join me in praying for Lucy and her family. You can read about Lucy here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Patiently Waiting

On Friday, for Five Minute Friday the topic was On Waiting... Five minutes does not give one enough time to develop an idea. I had just begun getting into the topic when my five minutes was up. Because I feel like I did not get to say everything I wanted to in that five minute post I decided to write another post addressing the topic of waiting.

I have spent a lot of my life waiting. As a child we wait for so much. The one thing I really remember waiting for was, waiting to grow up. Waiting until I was old enough to do something. One thing that comes to mind was waiting until I was tall enough to ride the attractions at Disneyland all by myself. Each time we went to Disneyland I would run to the sign that said you have to be "this tall" to ride by yourself without an adult. It took several years, but I finally got to be tall enough.

Our parents try to drill patience into us as children. "You need to be patient and wait," I remember my parents saying to me. It is so hard to wait for things. But over the years I have learned a lot about waiting. I still have those times when I am impatient and want something to happen NOW. But I have come to a place in my life where I am more content to wait.

I realized about five or six years ago that life can often pass by while waiting and when I realized that I decided to stop just waiting and start living life. There will always be things in life that we have to wait for. But it is what we do with the time we have between the wanting and waiting and the actually happening that is important.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Small Miracles ~ Peace

I have been thinking about what I would write for the Small Miracles blog hop this month for about a week now. I have thought about several different directions to go for this post, but each time I come up with a topic or start to write the post in my head I decided I need to go a different direction.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines peace as "a state of tranquillity or quiet."

That definition certainly does not describe my life or family right now. We are defiantly not in "a state of tranquility or quiet." Yet I have been able to describe how I am feeling, as being at peace.

I am very at peace about the decisions that are being made for our family right now. We are contemplating me returning to work full time and my husband staying home and caring for our daughter during the day. A year ago, even several months ago I got depressed and sad thinking about having to return to work full time. Yet in the last several weeks, as I have prayed about this option and talked with my husband I have felt a peace about this decision.

I miss Emily everyday, though some days more than others, and I wish I was still pregnant and that we were busy planning for her arrive. And I have been mad at God for not answering our prays in the way we wanted them answered. But I also have this strange (at least to me) peace about how the Lord chose to answer our prayers. In His infinite knowledge, He knew what was best for our family and He also knew that we could weather this storm.

Even in the darkest days of my grief I have felt a peace in my heart. It is strange to think that I can be so wrought with grief and pain and still feel peace. I can't explain it any better than that, it just is that way.

I know that the feeling of peace is not just in my head, it is truly in my heart. A little over a week ago I shared a section of scripture that really had impacted me: John 16:16-33 (you can read the post here). My focus was about grief being turned into joy, however, there is also a verse that talks about Jesus' peace. He showed me about joy and peace in the same set of verses.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
So my small miracle this month is peace.

There are two other verses that speak of the Lord's peace

2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
Isaiah 26:3
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.

What is your small miracle this month? Join me over at Small Bird Studios and share your small miracle.

Happy List Saturday

Finding happiness in the midst of grief is so important. For me, finding things to make me happy has made each day a bit more pleasant and helps me to see past the sadness I feel.

I have decided to do my happy list with pictures today.

1. Finding a good great deal. Good deals are okay too, but I am even happier when I find a great deal. For instance this $24.99 frame for only $5.00 and the $34.99 frame for only $10.00. So excited to get pictures in the frame.

2. Seeing my angel baby's name written down. Thank you to Katy for doing this for me.

3. Getting my coupons organized. This picture is of all the coupons that had expired, but were still inside my coupon binder until I finally spent an afternoon cleaning it out. I have found that when I am not actively couponing things tend to get a bit out of control. Seeing everything back under some kind of control and order makes me feel much better.

4. Child Safety locks. This lock in particular makes me happy. It keeps my two year old out of her closet and as a result keeps all her clothes on the hangers unless it is time to get dressed for the day.

That is my happy list for this week. What makes you happy? Make your list and then go on over here and link up too.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Five Minute Friday: On Waiting...

This is only my second week doing Five Minute Fridays, but I was so excited for Friday to get here so that I could participate again this week. Join me this week. If you decide to join in the fun make sure to link up over at The Gypsy Mama.

"It’s Friday. If you’ve got five minutes, I’m all ears. Here’s how the game works: you simply stop, drop and write for five minutes flat! Set your words free. Don’t edit them, don’t fret over them, don’t try to make them perfect."

On Waiting...


Waiting can be so difficult. I remember as a child waiting in line at Disneyland inching closer and closer to the desired destination.

I have waited a lot in my life. I remember waiting and waiting to meet the man I would marry, and then at some point I stopped waiting and just decided to live life and enjoy where I was, and then I met him and I am so glad that he is in my life.

As I think about it, I have waited a lot in my life. Life is often about waiting, waiting for this or that to happen. Waiting for a certain time in the day, waiting for a certain time in the week.

We even wait for the return of the Lord with anticipation. Waiting can be difficult and can be down right hard.

Waiting is a good thing...We can learn so much by just being patient and waiting. But there is a negative side to waiting. Sometime when we wait we waste away the life we are living waiting for that thing to happen. So go and live your life, wait with anticipation for the next thing (what ever it is) to happen in your life, but do not just wait and think that there is nothing else until that happens. You will miss so many wonderful things that could happen in the mean time.


Five minutes goes by so fast.

Have a wonderful Friday and remember to not just wait on life, go out and live life.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

7 Weeks

It has been 7 weeks since we said goodbye to our precious Emily. That means in one week it will have been two months. Sometime I think about her and think, "it feels like it just happened yesterday," but most of the time it feels like it all happened so long ago. It cannot explain it, but I just often have this feeling like years have passed, like I have been in a bad dream for a really long time.

I try to make sense of my emotions. I am asked if I am okay, and I usually answer in the positive. I think sometimes this is because it is the only answer I have since I am not even sure how to answer. Most days I am okay. Today I was fine, but I was also really moody. It was just an off day for me. Not even sure why.

Well Happy St. Patrick's Day anyway. I did not wear green today, and some how escaped getting pinched. I also did not eat cabbage, drink beer, eat anything green (other than salad), or eat anything Irish. I am okay with this and I hope that everyone is also. I think maybe when Maddie is older we will do green milk, and maybe even green eggs and ham for a meal, but not this year. It was just another day to me this year.

I hope it was wonderful for you, however you celebrated or did not celebrate today. Hopefully tomorrow will bring a much more inspired post. Night!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Future Career, Chef?

I have seen so many bloggers do a Wordless Wednesday and I have always loved the idea. So here is my Wordless Wednesday. Enjoy!

Rows for Rememberance

There are some wonderful women, who have started some wonderful ministries to moms who have lost a child. One of those ministries that I recently found out about, is called Row for Rememberance. Shaina provides an "unfinished blank" to mothers who have had a child die before they were born.

 This is what Shaina says about her new ministry...

I want to minister to families who have had a miscarriage, or suffered the death of a baby while pregnant. Sadly, I know several women who fit this niche, and I know there are thousands more out there. I want to give them a blanket, an "unfinished blanket", to represent their babies sweet lives.

Each blanket will have rows that represent the weeks of their little ones lives. Our blankets will start out with a specified amount of rows (20) and then will have an additional row for every week that you carried your baby. If you had a miscarriage at eight weeks, like me, then your blanket will be 28 rows long. If you had a baby born sleeping at 34 weeks, then your blanket will be 54 weeks. Each row signifies those memories you have of your sweet babe.

If you are at all interested, please check out her site. She is looking for volunteers to knit or crochet blankets and also people who would like to donate yarn or financail help. She is also looking for family whom she could bless with these blankets. You can nominate someone or simply request your own blanket.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Test Results

When I went in for my 4 week check-up after Emily was born I asked the doctor if he would run a few blood tests to determine if I had any medical reason (i.e. blood clotting disorders) why I had the placental abruption. I got the test results back last week. In most cases it is good to get the results in the mail and not receive a call from the doctor himself. In my case I kind of wish I had received a call. Because I received the test results in the mail, it basically meant that there was nothing wrong with me.

It comes down to the fact that there was no medical reason for why I had a placental abruption. This should be a good thing, right? It really is a good thing, but I sometimes wish there was a medical reason why this happened. Then there would be a way to treat me if I am every to get pregnant again.

On the flip side, the fact that there is indeed nothing medically wrong with me means that my chances are probably even less of a placental abruption happening again. This is a good thing.

The doctor has assured me that if I am to get pregnant again I would be monitored more closely and I would be considered high risk. This is wonderful but I am still scared of what could happen if I were to get pregnant again.

I know that my life is in the Lord's hands and he already knows what the future is for me as well as for our family. So I am going to trust Him and try not to worry about what tomorrow (and the rest of my life) holds.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lazy Sunday

I am convinced that the people who invented decided that daylight savings time should be started, did in fact not have children. Why would anyone who had children come up with something that makes their job so much harder?

Yes, there are good things about daylight savings time, I am sure, but right now I am not thinking about those. I am thinking about the fact that the whole switch throws everything into confusion with a child. Maddie did get up at her "normal" post daylight savings time, and that was nice, but after that, well...

We had to rush to get to church on time because we were already running behind this morning. We got home from church and had lunch and then tried to get Maddie on her new "normal" schedule with nap time at noon (which is actually 11am to her). She played in her room for almost an hour and a half. We had to go upstairs twice to get her to settle down for her nap. Then we had to wake her up because she might have slept until 5pm if we had let her. So who knows what bed time will be like tonight. Here is to hoping we adjust quickly.

But what does this have to do with the title of this post you might be asking? Well, besides that evils of daylight savings time our Sunday was wonderful.

All three of us just spent the day together. No where to be, nothing to do. And it rained all day, so that made it even easier to stay inside. We sat on the couch and caught up on shows and just enjoyed each other's company. And we ALL (yes all three of us) got a nap. To me this was an ideal day, except for the above mentioned.

We finished the day off with a BBQ (yes even though it was raining, we even BBQ in the snow). Ron made his own BBQ sauce and then put it on chicken on the BBQ. It was very good. Maddie even helped baste the chicken. I love watching Ron teach Maddie how to cook. He has such patients with her, it is wonderful to see.

Father & Daughter

Learning early


Yum Yum

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Happy List

It is Saturday, another day and another post. Natasha over at My Angel Baby ...Aiden has this great idea to make a Happy List every Saturday.

I think it is so important to focus on things that make me happy especially when I am feeling sad or having a particularly bad day.

I am not promising to make a happy list every week, but here is my happy list for today

Happy List:


watching my husband read a book to our daughter

getting unsolicited kisses and hugs from my 2 year old

clean laundry

watching reality TV: happiness is Survivor, Amazing Race and even The Bachelor

anything chocolate

a really good white wine

good conversation with a close friend

the warmer days showing that Spring really is right around the corner

This is my happy list for today. Maybe next week I will have pictures of things that make me happy.

What makes you happy?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Five Minute Friday: I Feel Most Loved When...

This will be my second blog hop. I think doing these is so much fun. First, it gives me something to write about if I have no topic for the day and second it introduces me to some wonderful women I would never have had the chance to "meet." I have been encouraged by the writings of others and am so blessed to "meet" women who have such a strong faith.

This post was prompted by The Gypsy Mama.

It’s Friday. If you’ve got five minutes, I’m all ears.
Here’s how the game works: you simply stop, drop and write for five minutes flat! Set your words free. Don’t edit them, don’t fret over them, don’t try to make them perfect.

My answer to this question is much different today, than it was a few months ago. I would have said simple things like "I feel most loved when..."
  • my husband rubs me feet
  • someone does the dishes, and I don't have to
  • I get to have 10 minutes of me time, while my husband gives Maddie a bath
Those were innocent days when I was naive and did not have much pain in my life. Those things above still make me feel loved, but there are others now. I feel loved when
  • my husband gives me a hug because he knows I have had a rough day
  • a friend calls me on the phone and simply asks how I am doing and means it and will listen.
  • my sister tells me how she is dealing with the her grief.
  • someone does something in memory of Emily. (I will share later the wonderful things people have done in her memory)
  • Maddie climbs on my lap and gives me a hug and kiss without any prompting.
Well, my five minutes are up and there is so much more I could say. But I will stop here and pick up on my next post.

One last thing...I feel loved when you, my readers, take the time to read what I have written and leave a comment letting me know how a post touched you, made you think, or just to say "hey I read your blog today and I am thinking and praying for you."

Now it is your turn...if you dare...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"You're Bigger"

I don't have much to say today so instead I want to share something I read recently that I thought was very interesting and thought provoking.

In the book Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis there is a passage where Lucy sees Aslan after a long time apart and exclaims,
“Aslan! You’re bigger.” 
“That is because you are older, little one, ” answered he.

“Not because you are?”

“I am not. But every year you grow you will find me bigger.”
To me this is such a great picture of what I hope to see in my walk with Christ. I hope to get older in Him and my knowledge of Him and as a result I will see Him as bigger in my life.

I personally have never read Prince Caspian, but I saw this in a blog I read recently. Such a wonderful post by Big Mama , she talks about how God is not a "one size, fits all" and that He has a personal relationship with each one of us as we are. It is a wonderful post and I would encourage you to go over and read it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I am angry.

Angry at God for not answering our prayer to heal me and keep me pregnant, and then to heal Emily and let her live.

Angry that life keeps going on for everyone else, and I am still trying to just function every day

Angry that I got my period yesterday

Angry that I am no longer pregnant

Angry that my family has to go through so much pain.



I wondered if I would ever get here in my grief process, I kept wondering that I was handling Emily's death too well. Well guess what, I am not handling it today. I am a huge mess.

There have been so many triggers to get me to where I am tonight. Many of the triggers actually blessed me and did not lead to the anger, but I think things have been building for a day or two.

First, I received an e-mail from my sister. It was a beautiful letter and I was so blessed by what she wrote and she helped me to see how much Emily's life and death has affect the rest of my family.

Second, the leadership team at MOPS blessed me with a gift this morning. They had a star named for Emily. This was something that Ron and I had talked about doing in honor of Emily, so this created a lot of emotion in me.

Then I went to MOPS this morning, there are two women that announced they are pregnant (when they shared I prayed that they would have uneventful, boring pregnancies), then there are new babies, and several women who are about ready to have a baby.

Then there the multiple women whom I have come in contact with over the last few weeks who are all due in MAY, really, it seems like every pregnant woman that I have met lately is due in MAY. I just do not get it.

Then there was the lady who is due in May and her 1 year old daughter's name is Emily. It just makes me crazy sometime.

It felt good to write down what I was feeling. After I wrote the above I went spent the rest of the night with my husband and daughter. It was good to be reminded of the good things I have in my life. I am thankful that even in my anger I can be comforted.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Grief into Joy

...CONTINUED (from the previous post, if you have not read the previous post "Before" click here)

Just like a blog title can tell you something about what is going to be written below so can the titles inside the Bible. The title of John 16:16-33 is The Disciples' Grief Will Turn to Joy (NIV). Most people do not expect to see the words grief and joy in the same sentence, I mean really. It is basically an oxymoron (which is a word that I love, I mean, such a cool word to mean combining contradictory terms. But I digress).

How many people actually use the word joy and grief in the same sentence, in a normal day, outside of Church?

Probably not to many.

For John 16:16-33 that title really says it all. So that you don't have to take time to look up the verses here they are for you:

The Disciples’ Grief Will Turn to Joy

Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”

Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’?Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

“Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

“Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

What a bunch of loaded verses.

I don't think it was an accident that I chose to write the last post and consequently looked up John 16:33 and then decided to see what the context was. The fact that Jesus compared the disciples grief to a women in labor...Labor is hard. I have been through it twice now, neither time with any pain meds, so I have felt the full effects. I can understand the comparison. There were times during labor that I was ready to give up and wanted an easy fix, some thing to take the pain away. Similarly, like I said in my last post about just forgetting so that the pain would go away, my pain of grief.

The joy comes when that child is born, and the pain is forgotten. For me I see the joy in several ways. The first and most obvious is that I will have joy when I am reunited with Emily when we are in Heaven. But another joy is in continuing to live life and focus on the fact that her life had meaning and that the Lord can use her short live and her death to impact His Kingdom. For me, the pain will still be there until we are reunited in Heaven, but with the Lord's help and time it will hurt less.

Jesus told the disciples a lot more than they could comprehend and at times this overwhelmed them, but in verse 33 He told them why. He told them those things, "so that they could have peace in Him." We do not always have to understand what has happened, but He has promised that in those times He will give us peace knowing that he has overcome the world.

I have one last thing to share about these verses that I have kind of applied to myself. Jesus said in “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

For me: I got to see Emily for a time, now I no longer see her, but in a little while I will see her again. I am sure this is not what the verse means in any way, shape, or form. But I am sure you understand what I am getting at, it is a comfort to me.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Over the last several weeks I have had this though several times, it is not a happy thought and in all honestly it is kind of dark.

In those moments when I am feeling sad or overwhelmed I sometime think it might be easier if we just went back to life the way it was before I even got pregnant with Emily. Life was easier before we knew this pain, it was less complicated and we were so naive. I stop and think, "she was only alive, both inside me and on the outside world, for such a short time...why are we so impacted by it"

I am not saying that I wish to forget about Emily or everything that we have gone through, but it would maybe make it hurt less and life would be easier, at least in my crazy brain.

Those are my thoughts in dark, painful times. But then I am reminded of how much I have learned and grown already since Emily's life and death. I think about how much more open my heart is to God and all the He has to say to me. I think about all the amazing women I have met and the strength that I have gotten just from reading about their stories of surviving and remembering the short lives of their children.

The Lord has never promised us that life will be easy, in fact, John 16:33 says “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

We can take comfort in the fact that HE IS and even when we have trouble, HE IS.

This sure was not the direction I had intended to take when I started writing this post, but as has been the case many times over the last few weeks, I really feel that the Lord directs the direction of my posts. Sometimes I read back over what I wrote and am amazed that I actually wrote that.
After I looked up the John 16:33 reference to make sure I got the verse correct I decided to go back and read the context of that verse. I often find that a verse can be taken out of context and applied to our lives in any way we see fit. But if you actually go back and look at the context you can often learn something more, or realize what you thought the meaning was is not really the meaning at all.

I am going to make this a "To Be Continued" post, because I feel that John 16:16-33 and what I got out of it needs its own post.




Before I got pregnant with Emily I used to coupon. I was not a crazy coupon lady (though, there really is one...The Crazy Coupon Lady. You can check her out here.) but I did get some great deals. I would spend several hours a week cutting coupons and looking for deals.

During my pregnancy I was super tired, more so than when I was pregnant with Maddie. Plus we moved a month after we found out we were pregnant. So a lot was going on in the Fall of last year and my couponing suffered. Sure I still used coupons from time to time, but not to the extent that I used to. Then when I went into the hospital using coupons got put on hold completely. Once I got home I just did not care and so the coupons stayed unused.

This week, almost 6 weeks later, I decided that I was going to start using coupons again. I purchased several newspapers, I spent part of Sunday cutting coupons and organizing them (there were a lot of expired coupons in my binder). Then on Sunday (yesterday) afternoon I went to the store. My husband was home so he watched Maddie so I could go to the store by myself. I am so glad that Maddie was not with me at the store.

Shortly after I got to the store I found myself in the frozen food section. I was trying to figure out a deal and make sure I had all the right coupons, and that it was really a good deal, when my brain just sort of stopped. I was in the frozen food section for awhile. I am not really sure how long, but it was like my brain would not function.

I have read that after the loss of a child things that you once enjoyed sometimes do not bring the same joy or excitement. This was the first time that I was actively aware of not enjoying something and not being able to function. It felt so strange. I just stood in the same place in the frozen food section and tried to think what I need to do next.

I did eventually get going again and finished the shopping AND I saved 47% at check out. I felt good about that. After this experience I realize that I cannot rely on my brain like I used to. I used to be able to go to the store without a list and come home with everything I had gone to the store for.

When I got home I unloaded the car and then I finally let myself cry. I was am so frustrated that things that used to be easy seem hard and things that I used to enjoy, just do not create the same excitement in me anymore. This lack of interest and control in my life is really hard for me to comprehend since I am so OCD about so many things. I know that I just need to let go and not be so controlling in my life.

I think that area is one place where the Lord is really working. He is showing me that I DO NOT and CANNOT have control over everything in my life. I need to leave it in His hands and allow him to give me the strength to get through or to not hold on so tightly.

So here I am crazy brain and all trying to "Let go and let God."

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Feeling So Alone

Have you ever been in a group of people, yet felt completely alone? I think that grief can be very much like that. Over the last few weeks I have discovered that so many women have suffered through the loss of a child and I can identify with so many of them. Yet even though I identify with them there is a sense of still being alone. I think this is because even though we have all gone through something similar, each of our actual experiences and our journey through grief is different.

In the days following Emily's death so many people wrote saying that they were thinking and praying for us. We received many cards in the mail and so many e-mails and even messages on Facebook. These meant so much to me. I cried every time I read what someone had written to us, but it was so comforting to know how many people cared about us.

I know that people are still praying for our family and that they really do care, but few people actually tell me this on a regular basis and even less send an encouraging word my way. I do not mean to offend anyone and this is not directed at anyone specific, this is just an observation I have had. I think that people often do not know what to say to me and so they say nothing at all.

I understand those people who do not say anything. I used to be one of those people. If someone I knew had suffered a miscarriage or the loss of a sibling or parent I had a hard time talking to them. I really just did not know what to say, and I did not want to say the wrong thing. So I get it, I understand, but I would actually rather you risk saying the wrong thing than have you avoid me.

I recently found an article that I think is very helpful in addressing what to do and what to say to someone who has suffered the loss of a child. I would like to share it with you. I have done some editing to it, to fit what I am feeling and thinking.

These suggestions and strategies are intended to help you understand what may be helpful to a grieving person.
  • Please do not ignore or avoid me. I am grieving a terrible loss and do not want to grieve your absence as well.
  • If you do not know what to say or do, tell me. "I do not know what to say or do." I don't either, but your presence and patience are comforting.
  • If I start to cry, do not feel like it is your fault for talking to me. I cry a lot and you did not cause my tears. Stay with me while I cry. If we are in public and I can't get hold of my tears, take me someplace quiet where we can sit down and then sit with me.
  • If you get uncomfortable, please do not leave. Grief is just uncomfortable.
  • If I ask you to help me in some way, please do it if you can. If you can't, please look for someone else who can. It is terribly difficult to ask for help, and if I actually do make a request, I really need it.
  • If I do not ask for help, ask me, "Can I help you with anything?" If I say no, ask again. If I say no again, don't believe me. Find a close friend who knows me well and inquire about ways to help: practical stuff, emotional support, or fun distractions like a trip to the coffee shop may be in order.
  • Just show up for a visit. I often need a distraction from my grief and would welcome your company.
  • If you only have 30 free minutes, I don't mind. I will appreciate whatever company you can offer me.
  • Let me talk about Emily and listen as I tell you stories.
  • Please do not say, "It is for the best," even if you believe it is. Tell me you are sorry for the death of Emily.
  • If I get mad at you or say something hurtful, please forgive me. The last thing I want to do is hurt someone, especially someone who is willing to be with me. I am just hurting so much and it comes out in inappropriate ways sometimes.
  • Please accept that I will feel angry, sad, numb, crazy, and many other things. This will make you uncomfortable, but please don't avoid me. I am more uncomfortable than you can imagine right now.
  • Please remember significant dates associated with my loss.
    • The anniversary of our loss.
    • The birthday of Emily
    • My due date and remember it. . .for years to come.
    • My birthday, holidays, especially Mother's Day and Father's Day.
  • Do not avoid speaking of Emily. I really want to talk about her.
  • Do not fear you will remind me of my loss, for it is always with me.
  • If I do not feel up to discussing Emily or grief, accept my feelings and move on to another topic.
  • If you wish to do something beyond offering me your friendship and ear, make a donation to a specific cause. If you are interested in this please ask me. There are several organizations that I feel very strongly about.
  • Release a balloon in memory of Emily, and write me a note that you did this.
  • Be patient with me. I will not be better all at once. I will seem better, then I will seem worse. I will seem at peace, then I will be suddenly angry. In fact, I may never be the same again. Please don't expect me to be. And please, please do not suggest that I should.
  • But most of all, pray for and with me. More than any other gesture, I find comfort in your prayers and presence.
I am thankful for everyone in my life and my hope is that you find this post helpful. I also hope that this post helps you in the future if someone else in your life suffers a loss.

If you would like to do any more reading on how to help a friend or loved one who has suffered a loss of a child you can check out this site (Cora's Story). There is some great information here written by a mother who lost her daughter less than a month after she was born.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Way Out

I have not opened my Bible much since Emily died. This is not an act of rebellion, it is simply I have not felt much like reading my Bible. I have days where I am angry at God, but being angry is also not the reason I have not opened my Bible much recently.

With that being said, I know that the Lord knows where I am right now and He has provided other ways for me to be in the Word and to be ministered to through His Word. In my last post I mentioned the blog "Pray Date," this blog has become a daily place for me to go and be ministered to. Most days the verse touches my heart in some way. I was also given a daily devotional by my sister shortly after Emily died. A few days after she gave it to me I looked at it. And then I just kind of forgot about it. Yesterday my sister text me and shared with me that that day's passage had really given her comfort, (she also has the same devotional). So I picked it up and read it. It was very timely for yesterday for me as well. It is these little ways that the Lord is showing me how much He cares and that he wants to meet me right where I am.

Today's verse on Pray Date is a verse that meant a lot to me in the days following Emily's death and I still think about this verse often. It is 1 Corinthians 10:13 "No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it."

If you have spent much time talking with me in the past few weeks you have probably heard me make some reference to this verse. Maybe not the exact verse, but things like I truly believe that the Lord knew how much we could handle and he did not give us more than we could handle.

He has also given us a "way out", so that we are about to bear it (Emily's death). For me the way out has been blogging, and connecting with other moms who have also lost a child. Another way out for us has been our other child, Maddie. She has been such a joy to us, we are reminded everyday by her love of life and her energy that we can make it though this time of intense grief. I truly believe she is helping us heal.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

His Assurance

I did not post yesterday, so this will make up for that. (It is my goal to post everyday, but family time always comes first).

About a week ago I discovered this wonderful blog started by an amazing Christian woman. It is called Pray Date: Where Angel's Mommies Meet. Each day Katy posts a bible verse or praise song. Then anyone is welcome to comment on the verse in any way they want. This site has been a huge encouragement to me.

Today's verse was Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

I love this verse. There is such comfort in the fact that Jesus has always been the same. We have that assurance that He is consistent and will not change; even when we are having a difficult time or even questioning our faith.

Taking Time for Me

I got my hair cut today. For me a hair cut has never been that much of a priority, in fact I have not had my hair cut since June of last year sometime. That tells you how much I really care, I don't even remember when it was exactly. I have always been one of those girls that just puts my hair in a ponytail right before I leave the house. I had purposefully not cut my hair recently; I just figured since I was having a baby being able to continue to put my hair up made the most sense. Then once we came home I just did not feel like doing much for myself and whenever I looked at myself in the mirror I thought "my hair looks fine. Sure it could use a trim, but it was fine."

Then on Monday I actually looked at  my hair and just decided enough is enough. I made an appointment to get my hair done by a women from my mom's bible study group. She did a wonderful job. If I had taken a picture I would post it, but since I don't have one, you will just have to wait until I get around to getting someone to take one of me.

It was really nice to do something for me. I have not taken very much time lately to do something for me. Mostly because I have not felt like doing much, other than be at home. It felt good to be a little bit pampered.

I am realizing that I have to take time for me and not just focus on my family and their needs. I have needs too, that often get pushed into the back ground because it is easier for me to focus on my family and not think about what I need.

I have seen this in other places in my life as well.

I spend so much time making sure that other people are doing okay, that I often forget that I need to be focusing on how I am doing and working on myself. And that doing so is not selfish, it is what I should be doing. I will continue to offer support to my friends, but I am also going to work at letting my friends know when I need help also and not just always offer up my help to them.

I have a wonderful friend who has been showing me that it is okay if I ask for help, and that if she cannot help me with something she will tell me and if it works into her day then she willingly offers her assistance. It is people like her that have been touching my life and showing me that people really do care about me.
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